The National Advocate for People with Down Syndrome Since 1979

National Down Syndrome Society
666 Broadway, 8th Floor
New York New York 10012

Collaboration to Promote Self-Determination

CPSD Overview  

The Collaboration to Promote Self Determination (CPSD) is a national coalition of fifteen organizations led by NDSS to promote major systemic reform of our nation’s disability laws and programs. CPSD was established to ensure that persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities achieve employment, independent living, and the opportunity to improve their quality of life through self-direction and self-determination.

CPSD was founded by NDSS, the National Fragile X Foundation, and the Autism Society of America in 2008. CPSD believes that a modernized system of supports and services for adults with disabilities must be based on high expectations for them and accurate assumptions about their enormous and demonstrable capabilities. Equally important, a modernized system for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities must also provide and preserve the supports and services people with disabilities need to live and work in integrated settings, generate income and save for their future.

In order to implement its overarching vision, the coalition advocates for the incorporation of an Employment First presumption into a number of disability laws. In addition, CPSD urges that public programs:

  • Align their policies, processes and reimbursement practices to fund services and supports that lead to the preferred outcome of competitive, integrated employment
  • Promote self-determination by making the development of an individual budget by each individual with a disability and his/her family an essential part of the process of identifying needed and approved supports 
  • Promote the blending and braiding of public funds to support individuals in employment and independent living
  • Provide necessary assistance to individuals with disabilities and their families to navigate the maze of federal programs

CPSD Legislative Agenda

As part of its legislative agenda, CPSD maintains that individuals with disabilities and their families must be given a way to save money without jeopardizing access to necessary public supports and resources. This is critically important if employment and independent living are to become the preferred outcomes achieved in the 21st century.

  • CPSD strongly advocates for the passage of the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act to ensure that long term financial planning and asset development are possible for this population of Americans as they are for other groups of Americans.
  • CPSD helped to shape the Transitioning toward Excellence and Achievement in Mobility (TEAM) Act of 2011. The TEAM Act is a series of three bills designed to better align federal programs providing publically funded supports to ensure that every youth has the opportunity to become employed in an integrated setting or to pursue a postsecondary education.

External Resources

  • Buddy Walk
  • NDSS Yourway
  • My Great Story
  • NDSS DS-Ambassadors